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Vanishing Act

Teleplay by: David H. Balkan and David L. Newman
Story by: Daniel Levine
Directed by: William Gereghty
Transcribed by: Becky

~~~~~~~~~~ Disclaimer ~~~~~~~~~~

I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show The Sentinel. They were created by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo and belong to them, Pet Fly Productions, UPN, and Paramount. This is not a novelization or a script. It is simply a transcript of the episode. It also includes descriptions of the settings, action scenes and camera movements where needed. If you notice anything that is transcribed incorrectly, please let me know and I will post an update.

Lead cast: Richard Burgi (James Ellison), Garett Maggart (Blair Sandburg), Bruce A. Young (Simon Banks).

Guest cast (in order of credits): Vincent Irizarry (Nick Prosky), Alicia Coppola (Samantha), Robert Cicchini (Gordon Abbott), Sandra Ferens (Elise Abbott), Edward Albert (Dan Singleton), Addison Ridge (Joey Abbott), Ian Brown (Tim Schneider), Henri Brown (Detective Brown), Frank Ferrucci (Lawyer).

Summary: When Ellison discovers that a missing and presumed dead fugitive is alive, he is led to a manipulative FBI agent. Jim tries to reunite the family when he learns that the wrongfully imprisoned man staged his own death to protect his wife and young son. (Source: Stefan's Sentinel Episode Guide)

This episode was originally broadcast on April 9, 1997.
Last updated: 7/8/01

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Opening theme plays as credits roll. Monologue by Blair Sandburg: "In the jungles of Peru the fight for survival heightened his senses. Now, Detective James Ellison is a sentinel in the fight for justice. Seeing before others see. Sensing what others can't. An ever-vigilant watchman in the war against crime."~

~~~~~~~~~~ Act I ~~~~~~~~~~

~Flower store. Day time. Inside a woman hands an arrangement to another. Outside, a man comes up to the window and looks inside. He sees the first woman and watches her, then walks down the sidewalk away.~

~Pan to behind him as he walks away to see the Expedition pull into a parking space. Jim and Blair get out. Jim checks the meter.~

Jim: Hey, it's our lucky day, huh? Money in the meter.

Blair: Yeah.

They start to amble down the sidewalk.

Jim: You know, I don't get it, Chief. I thought you and Samantha were history.

Blair: Well, you know what they say about history, man -- it repeats itself. If I don't find a present today that's what we're going to be again -- is history.

Jim: I thought you said her birthday was Monday.

Blair: It was.

Jim: So what's the big deal about getting a present today?

Blair: The 48-hour window, man.

Jim: Excuse me?

Blair: It's a well-known cultural precept, Jim, that if you're dating someone and you miss an important event like a birthday or Valentine's Day, you've got 48 hours to make up for it. After that, it's too late.

~Cut to man still watching the flower shop from around a corner. He seems to come to a decision and starts to walk back to the shop.~

~Cut back to Jim and Blair. Jim gestures to the flower shop across the street.~

Jim: Hey, how about flowers?

Blair: No, no, no, flowers would have been all right on Monday when it was her actual birthday. But since we are in the post-48-hour window, it has to be something really big, really special, and most of all, really expensive.

Jim: Is there some sort of handbook where this stuff is written down?

Blair: No. That's the interesting part about this type of cultural rule, Jim. It's not written down anywhere. Everybody just knows.

Jim: Everybody, huh?

Blair: Yeah.

Jim sees the man walking toward the shop. Man appears very nervous. Man stops and sees Jim. Man starts to run down the sidewalk. Jim takes off after him, crossing the street and dodging car.

Blair: Hey, Jim, no flowers. (waits a moment, then goes after Jim) Look out! Excuse me! Look out!

Man goes around a corner at the end of the block. Jim comes around the corner and stops when he doesn't see anyone. Blair comes up to a stop behind him.

Blair: Jim, what's up?

A car appears and heads toward them. Jim grabs Blair and shoves him aside, both landing hard on the pavement. Car speeds off. Jim stands up to watch it, getting a partial plate on the car as it goes out of sight. Blair (rubbing his shoulder) stands up behind Jim.

Blair: Who was that guy?

Jim: Gordon Abbott.

~Cut to Simon, Jim, and Blair entering Simon's office. Still day.~

Simon: Gordon Abbott is dead. It can't have been him.

Jim: Simon, I know what I saw.

Simon: How far away was he?

Jim: 50 yards, maybe.

Simon: Jim, even with your senses, you had to have made a mistake.

Blair: Time out, time out, will somebody please tell me who this guy is...or who he was?

Jim: Gordon Abbott was a low-level accountant who worked for a company that was controlled by the Prosky crime family.

Blair: That's a good career choice.

Simon: He thought it was a legitimate business. By the time he figured out it was money laundering, we were already closing in.

Jim: All Abbott wanted to do was bail. He was scared to testify because he had a wife and he had a son.

Simon: Enter Dan Singleton -- a prosecutor with a political agenda. He threw Abbott in jail on a racketeering charge. While Abbott was in lockup, a car bomb took out his wife and son.

Jim: After that, Abbott decided to change his mind and agreed to testify against John Prosky, put him away for life. The day after his testimony, Abbott was stabbed to death by a fellow inmate.

Simon: Two years later Prosky hangs himself in his jail cell.

Blair: Sounds like everybody lost there.

Jim: Well, everybody except for Nick Prosky and Dan Singleton. Nick took over for his father and Dan Singleton hit the jackpot and now runs the federal prosecutor's office here in Cascade.

Simon: Jim, maybe you'd better have a talk with Dan. Tell him what you saw.

Jim: I'd like that, sir.

Simon: Try to be nice to him.

~Cut to federal prosecutor's building. Singleton is coming up the stairs with two other prosecutors. Jim and Blair wait next to the top of the stairs.~

Singleton: I'm not happy about the way the Delmarco case is going. I think the research is sloppy, I think the depositions uninspired, and your briefs fall short of the mediocre. In the two and a half years that I've been head of this department, we have never lost a single major case. I don't as hell don't intend to start now. In a word, gentlemen, start over.

Jim: Mr. Singleton.

Singleton: Detective Ellison. Long time.

Blair: Hey, how you doing. My name's Blair Sandburg. I'm a consultant to the police department.

Singleton: Dan Singleton. So what brings you uptown?

They start to walk down hallway.

Jim: I saw an old friend of yours today -- Gordon Abbott. He was walking down Prospect Street.

Singleton: (chuckling) Gordon Abbott's dead. I saw the corpse.

Jim: Why am I having a hard time believing that.

Singleton: Frankly, I don't care what you believe. You saw him because you wanted to see him.

Jim: Gordon Abbott trusted me. He trusted us for god's sake.

Singleton: I did my job. I put a major crime figure in jail. I got nothing to apologize for.

Jim: You made a career move, Dan. Gordon Abbott paid the price.

Singleton: Ellison, this happened a long time ago. It's over now. I mean, you want to walk around carrying a guilt complex, you go right ahead, but you leave me the hell out of it. (to Blair) Nice to meet you.

Blair: Yeah, you, too.

~Cut to Expedition driving down street. Still day. Jim and Blair.~

Blair: So, are you going to tell me?

Jim: Tell you what?

Blair: Tell me what you guys were talking about back there.

Jim: I was the one who brought Gordon Abbott in. I was trying to convince him to come over. I promised him if he testified, we'd protect him and his family. Singleton knew the Prosky case could get him a lot of press so he moved in and took Abbott into federal custody.

Blair: Then it's Singleton's screw-up, not yours.

Jim: When I made that promise to Abbott, I knew there was a possibility the government would step in. But I just didn't bother to tell him. I just wanted to make case.

Blair: Right.

Jim: The truth is, there wasn't much difference between me and Singleton.

Jim's cellphone rings and he answers it.

Jim: Ellison.

Simon: Yeah, it's Simon. We tracked down the partial license plate and registration sticker that you saw. It's rented to a Stewart Norman from Ft. Lauderdale. He's staying at the Stardust Motel off the interstate.

Jim: All right, we're on our way

~Cut to Prosky car wrecking business location. Day. Nick Prosky and his lawyer, Phil, are walking outside toward the office.~

Phil: Nick, it doesn't matter. The state has the right to buy the property and make it in a freeway. It's called "eminent domain."

Prosky: Look, Phil, before I was born, my father built that house on the weekends with his own hands. We lived there till I was five. That house is a part of my family's history. I do not want it torn down.

Phil: There's nothing I can do.

Priosky: You are not listening to me. I don't care about their damn freeway. That house is not to be touched.

Man comes out of the building and calls to Nick.

Man: Nick...call for you.

Prosky: This is important to me, Phil. I expect you to take care of this.

Phil: I'll do what I can.

Prosky: I know you will.

Phil leaves and Nick goes inside to answer phone call.

Prosky: (into phone) Yeah, this is Nick Prosky. What do you want? All right. Where? When? I'll be there.

~Cut to a darkened street. Prosky pulls up behind another car, gets out and goes up to the front driver's side of the other car. A shadowed figure can be seen inside.~

Prosky: All right, I'm here. So what's your problem?

Singleton is inside the car.

Singleton: Same as yours. Gordon Abbott... He's alive.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act II ~~~~~~~~~~

~Simon's office. Day. Jim, Blair, and Simon watching a video tape of a hockey game.~

Jim: Found this in Stewart Norman's room at the Stardust Motel.

Simon: Well, we never should've traded for this guy. What the hell's so important about a hockey game/

Blair: It's not the game, Simon, it's the crowd.

Jim: The tape was cued up to this.

Jim stops the tape on an image of a woman (from the flower shop), a boy, and a man.

Simon: How can you recognize anybody?

Jim: Norman didn't see just anybody. He saw his wife and his son there. We found a receipt from a photo shop in Norman's room. It checks out that Norman had a frame enlargement of this tape done. It was pretty much the same shot. (shows Simon the frame enlargement) Now, I don't know who this guy is, but that is Gordon Abbott's wife and Gordon Abbott's son.

Simon: Jim, they were killed in a car bombing three years ago.

Jim: Yeah, that's what we've been told, sir. But this game was played last week.

Simon looks at tape, then Jim and Blair. Blair nods.

Simon: All right, let's assume for the sake of argument that Norman is Gordon Abbott. Somebody went to a lot of trouble to make sure that the Abbott family appeared dead. Why?

Blair: Maybe to protect him. Maybe something happened to Abbott while he was in prison.

Jim: Take a look at this, Simon. You can barely make out what appears to be a number on that seat.

Blair: I'll bet you anything forensics can enhance that for us.

Simon: I'm sure she can.

Jim: I'll get right on it, sir. Uh, while I'm at it, I'm going to need authorization to have somebody exhume the body of Gordon Abbott.

Simon: (laughs) Jim, we barely have a case here. On what grounds am I get that?

Jim: I don't know, Captain. Maybe on the grounds that somebody lied to us and might have compromised an official investigation. Help me out here.

Simon: I'll do what I can. Get out of here.

~Cut to Jim and Blair walking down the hallway toward forensics.~

Blair: You know, Jim, I'm thinking that you can handle this one all on your own. I told you about the 48-hour window, man. If I go in there without bearing gifts, I'm toast. You understand me?

An officer goes by with a cart and Blair ducks down beside it to hide as they pass forensics' windows.

Jim: I really respect your courage, Chief.

Jim goes into forensics. Sam is inside.

Jim: Hey, Sam.

Sam: Jim.

Jim: Hi, folks.

Sam: Where's your friend?

Jim: Uh, he had to take care of something.

Sam: Maybe something that he...forgot to do?

Jim: He didn't really say. (gives her photo) Here's the picture.

Sam: Ah. Okay. I've got this new program that will help us clean it up. It was designed by NASA for satellite photo imaging. All right, here we go. (starts scanning picture) Now, I'm assuming that's what you're after. (points to number on seat) Okay, here we go. (starts to clear up image)

The number 28 comes up.

Jim: Seat 28. Thanks, Sam.

Sam: Anytime.

Jim leaves the office and goes into hallway. He goes down the hall a bit and Blair appears from hiding beside a snack machine. Then Sam comes out of the office and walks down to him. Blair hides again.

Sam: Jim...when you see Blair, will you give him a message for me?

Jim: Sure.

Sam: Tell him I think cowards are boring and tell him my window's closed. (looks toward snack machine) Have a nice life, Blair. (walks back to her office)

Jim tries not to smirk. Blair comes out from hiding.

Blair: Whoo.

~Cut to Simon, Jim, and Blair leaving Narcotics and walking down hallway toward Major Crimes.~

Simon: So all three tickets to this hockey game were bought by Tim Schneider.

Blair: Well, he has season tickets and he also happens to be Gordon Abbott's best friend.

Simon: How do you know that?

Jim: We dug into the old case files. It turns out that Schneider and Abbott grew up together. When Abbott was sent away by the feds, he asked Schneider to look after his wife and son.

Simon: He did a great job, judging by the photo.

They enter the bullpen. Behind them the elevator opens and Singleton comes out.

Singleton: Banks! We need to talk.

Simon: About what?

Singleton: Since when do you take it upon yourself to order an exhumation of a body pertinent to a federal investigation?

Simon: Since I got a whiff of something beginning to stink.

Singleton: What are you talking about?

Jim: He's talking about Elise and Joey Abbott. They were at a hockey game a week ago which is rather amazing considering they've been dead for nearly three years. (shows him the photo)

Singleton: That's impossible. Elise and Joey were killed by a car bomb.

Jim: Yeah, and Abbott was killed in jail. I'd say Elise and Joey look remarkably well, wouldn't you?

Singleton: If they're alive, I'll find out. This is a federal matter. It's got nothing to do with you.

Simon: We'll see.

Singleton: By the way, about exhuming Abbott's body...don't knock yourself out. He was cremated. Gentlemen. (leaves)

~Cut to Singleton getting into his car. He makes a call on his cellphone.~

Singleton: There's the guy named Schneider. The police are probably going to want to talk to him. They're going to go to his house. I want you to go to the cabinet shop.

~Cut to cabinet shop. Still day. Schneider is working on some wood. Prosky and two thugs enter.~

Man: Hello, Timmy. There are a few things that...well, things that we need to discuss.

Sounds of a belt sander being started up.

~Cut to Jim and Blair arriving at cabinet shop in truck. Night.~

Jim: Something doesn't seem right to me here.

The go inside. Jim has his gun out. Blair follows close behind Jim.

Jim: Mr. Schneider! It's Cascade Police!

They enter Schneider's main work area. Camera shows just the back of Schneider's body where it is strapped to a chair.

Blair: Hmm...

Jim: Why don't you wait outside?

Blair leaves. Jim pulls out his cellphone and dials, taking a quick look back the direction Blair went as he does.

Simon. Jim. You can climb off of that limb. This investigation just became official.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act III ~~~~~~~~~~

~Same continuing scene a bit later. Simon and other police are there. Blair is back inside.~

Simon: Only way it tracks for me is Gordon Abbott. The guy comes back to Cascade, finds his best friend doing the big nasty with his wife, kills him in a fit of jealous rage.

Jim: With a belt sander, sir? Come look at this body.

Blair: Uh, I'm going to get some fresh air. Once was enough for me. (leaves)

Jim and Simon go over to look at the body which is now on a gurney.

Jim: This is not a crime of passion, Captain. I mean, they went to town here.

Simon: Like they were trying to get something out of him.

Jim: My guess is whoever did this was looking for Abbott.

Simon: Well, if Abbott isn't the killer, who is?

Jim: I have some ideas about that, Simon. Do you smell that?

Simon: Yeah, I smell it.

Jim: No, no. Something sweet -- um, perfumey. (uses flashlight to look at the bottom of Schneider's shoes) Craig, let me have your tweezers for a second.

Craig: Here you go, sir.

Jim uses tweezers to pull something off the bottom of the shoes.

Simon: What is it?

Jim: Looks like some piece of a flower petal.

~Cut to forensics. Jim and Sam looking at the bagged flower petal.~

Sam: This is a petal fragment from an Asian flower called Pikake -- grown in Hawaii and most definitely not indigenous to the Pacific Northwest.

Jim: Well, there are no floral arrangements in Schneider's shop or his house.

Sam: Well, we found this in the sole of his other shoe. (shows him another bagged flower petal)

Jim: It looks like baby's breath.

Blair comes in, with a suit coat on, carrying a wrapped present.

Blair: Hey, Jim, how you doing?

Sam: Speaking of flower shops, here's someone who apparently has never seen the inside of one.

Blair: (laughing) That's funny. That's funny. (sets present on table) Look, I know this is late, but, uh, happy birthday.

Sam: I can't accept that. It's not a birthday gift. It's a guilt gift.

Blair: What are you talking about, guilt gift? I bought this -- what? A week ago?

Sam: Jim, I will write up a list of all the florists in this area that carry that particular plant.

Jim: Don't knock yourself out. I think I know where to start. Thanks, Sam. (heads to door) Let's go, Chief.

Blair goes with him, then pauses.

Blair: Go ahead. Give me just one minute.

Jim: Live to fight another day.

Blair goes back, smiles, and takes the present before leaving the office.

~Cut to Singleton entering Prosky's car wrecking business office. Day.~

Prosky: (laughs) I don't get you, Singleton. Years go by, I don't hear from you -- not so much as a card. Now, suddenly, you're my new best friend?

Singleton: Why the hell did you have to kill Schneider?

Prosky: Aw, come on, don't get all self-righteous on me. We both want the same thing.

Singleton: I didn't expect you to...

Prosky: To what? Commit another murder? What? One is all right, but two -- no. No, that's not good because that dirties your hands, right? That's quite a morality you've got there, Singleton.

Singleton: You listen to me, Prosky. I am finished with all this.

Prosky: The hell you are. I want Gordon Abbott dead, but that doesn't mean that I forgot that you are the one who put my old man behind bars. Now, unless you want your remains floating up on the Oregon coast, you shut up and you go along with the plan.

~Cut to Jim outside the flower shop. Still day. Abbott's wife, Elise, comes out. Jim is waiting for her.~

Jim: Mrs. Abbott.

Elise: Guess it was bound to happen. Sooner or later I was going to run into someone like you. (walks to her car)

Jim: Mrs. Abbott, uh...

Elise: The name is Morgan now, Elaine Morgan.

Jim: I need your help.

Elise: Well, I'm the last person in the world who's going to help you.

Jim: I don't blame you for how you feel... I really need to ask you some questions.

Elise: This never ends, does it? Just be quick. I have to go pick up my son.

Jim: Dan Singleton claims that you and your son were killed in a car bombing three years ago.

Elise: I don't know anything about that.

Jim: So, you never agreed to let Singleton fake your death?

Elise: No.

Jim: I think your husband's alive, Mrs. Abbott.

Elise: That's impossible. (goes around to get in her car)

Jim: Tim Schneider was murdered last night.

Elise: What?

Jim: Someone is looking for your husband and if you know where he is, you've got to tell me.

Elise: I've got to go. (gets into car)

Jim: Uh... Mrs. Abbott... Please, Mrs. Abbott, I want to help.

Elise: Yeah, well, you're a little late, aren't you? (drives off)

Jim goes up to the truck and gets in. Blair is inside.

Blair: My guess? She wasn't all that receptive to it.

Jim just looks at him, then they take off.

~Cut to Hillside Park. Joey is waiting on the curb. Elise pulls up on the opposite side of the road. They exchange a smile. Elise pauses a moment to get her bearings. As she does, a long black car pulls up between her and Joey. It stops. Elise gets out of the car as the black car pulls away. Joey is no longer on the curb.~

Elise: Joey?! (turns to look after the black car as it leaves) Oh, my god! Joey! Joey No! Joey! Oh, my god!

The black car passes the Expedition as Jim drives up toward the park. He and Blair look at it, then at Elise who is frantic by her car. They pull up next to her.

Elise: My son! My son! He took my son!

Jim: All right, you wait here.

Jim backs up and does a reverse U-turn to chase after the black car through the busy streets, taking some hard turns. Through a particularly fast and hard left turn through an interseection, Blair holds on.

Blair: Oh...! Jim...!

Jim throws out his arm across Blair's chest, holding him in place until they're going straight again. More chasing through the streets. Black car goes straight through a busy intersection. Jim follows, but gets caught up in the traffic of the cars going across it. The black turns down an alleyway and vanishes.

Jim: Come on! Oh, you're killing me here.

Another car driver: What are you, crazy?!

Jim takes off again, going down the alleyway. As they turn, they see Joey standing in the middle of the street.

Blair: Jim, look out.

Jim screeches to a halt just a few feet away from Joey, who is crying softly.

~Cut to Jim, Blair, Elise, and Joey entering Elise's house.~

Elise: I need you to go and play, 'cause I have to talk to these men, okay?

Joey: But I want to stay with you.

Elise: Sweetie... (they hug)

Blair: Hey, Joey, you know what I bet? I bet you're probably pretty good at games, huh?

Joey: I've got a new Space Enforcer game. It's in my mom's computer.

Blair: Well, all right. What do you say you give me a lesson or two and then we play a couple games?

Joey: Okay.

Blair: Well, great. Lead the way, buddy.

Joey heads up the stairs.

Blair: You guys take as long as you want. I got a feeling the kid's going To clean my clock. Wait up! (goes up the stairs after Joey)

Jim laughs.

Elise: (laughs) Your friend has quite a way with kids.

Jim: He's not so far removed. Tell me, why did you move back to Cascade when you had a new identity and a new home?

Elise: My mother got sick. She's in a long-term care facility and I didn't want to think about her being alone, so, uh...Joey and I moved back into her house.

Jim: What were you doing at that hockey game with Tim Schneider?

Elise: He's an old friend. I figured, what's the big deal? We'd go to a hockey game. It would be like old times.

Jim: It didn't seem like old times to Gordon. He was watching that hockey game in Fort Lauderdale and saw you and your son in the crowd.

Elise: My husband is dead.

Jim: Your husband is alive, and you're protecting him. I noticed the surprised look on your face when I told you that Tim Schneider was dead, but you didn't look that way when we talked about your husband.

Phone rings and Elise picks it up. Jim listens in to conversation.

Elise: Hello.

Man: Where's Gordon Abbott?

Elise: Who is this?

Man: We grabbed Joey once. We can do it again. You, too. Now, where is he?

Elise: Look, you've got the wrong number. (hangs up)

Jim: Elise, that was Prosky, or somebody who works with him, wasn't it? He's the only one with motive to want to kill your husband. If you know where he is, you've got to tell me before they get to him first.

Elise: Gordon called me at work about an hour ago. I agreed to meet him at Butler Point at 5:00.

Jim: That's in 15 minutes.

Jim starts to hear something and follows the sound to a lamp. Inside, he finds a listening device.

Jim: Oh, good god. It's a transmitter and they've heard everything we've said. (runs over to stairs) Sandburg!

Blair: (from upstairs) Yeah, what's up?

Jim: You've got to stay here with these two. Call Simon and have him send a protection unit over here.

Blair comes down the stairs.

Jim: Also have him send a unit over to Butler Point, pronto. (leaves)

Blair: Right.

~Cut to Butler Point. Still day. Gordon is walking down pathway. Jim pulls up in the Expedition and gets out. Further away, another man (one of Prosky's thugs) gets out of a black car and starts looking around with binoculars. He spots Gordon just as Jim reaches him. Gordon turns around, surprised to see Jim. He backs away as Jim approaches.~

Jim: It's okay. Elise sent me.

Thug pulls out a big gun, cocks it. Jim hears it.

Jim: Abbott, get down!

Thug fires once, hitting Gordon. Gordon falls. Jim pulls his gun as the man fires again. Jim fires once, shooting through the car windows and hitting the thug who falls to the ground. Jim stands and looks around. Gordon is gone.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act IV ~~~~~~~~~~

~Elise's house. Still day. Jim is back. Police crews are inside.~

Elise: This is a nightmare. All Gordon wanted to do was protect his family. He wound up losing his wife, his son -- his whole life! He wants his family back! Is that so hard to understand?!

Jim: No, it isn't Mrs. Abbott. But he can't do this alone and neither can you. What happened to your son should have proven that to you.

Elise: Gordon must be so scared right now.

Simon comes inside.

Simon: Jim...

Jim: This is my captain.

Simon: Mrs. Abbott, Simon Banks. (to Jim) I need to talk to you. (to Elise) Could you excuse us for a minute?

Jim: Excuse me.

Jim and Simon step aside.

Simon: We got a match on those prints from the shoe. They belong to a guy named Jack Wendick.

Jim: He works for Prosky.

Simon: Well, you and I know that, but we have no proof. The D.A.'s not gonna move on Prosky until we get enough evidence to connect him to it directly.

Jim: It's not only Prosky. He's had help on this. Somebody tipped him off about Abbott being in town and somebody's told him about Schneider.

Simon: Yeah, somebody, but who?

Jim: Someone who has the high-tech skills to plant a bug in this house.

Sam goes out to join them, holding a tiny listening device.

Sam: And that could be...the feds. I found this one in the kitchen. This, gentlemen, is the latest thing in designer listenware. Nobody's got this except CIA, the FBI, and the Justice Department. It's wonderful! Fantastic. (leaves)

Simon: Thanks, Sam.

Jim: It's Singleton.

Simon: Look, I know Singleton is a jerk, but he's being talked about as a future governor.

Jim: All I know is somebody's pulling strings on this case. The Prosky case was huge -- as big as Gotti's. Singleton made his career on this. It's got to come back and haunt him in some way.

Simon: Well, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Singleton prosecuted old man Prosky. Why would Nick throw in with him?

Jim: Because it's in the best interests of both of them.

~Cut to a parking garage. Singleton walks through a doorway into the garage. Behind him, a car pulls up and honks at him. He turns to see Prosky.~

Prosky: I wanted to make sure that I had your full attention.

Singleton: You listen to me. You're a punk kid with rice for brains and I want nothing more to do with you!

Singleton walks away. Prosky drives rapidly around him, cutting him off. Prosky gets out of the car and stands in Singleton's face.

Prosky: I thought we had an understanding. I hate repeating myself. Some governor you're going to make. Anyway...I need a favor. You help me with this, and we're home free.

Singleton: What do you want me to do?

~Cut back to Elise's house. Elise is putting a coat on Joey.~

Joey: But why can't you come with me?

Elise: I'll be there before you know it. Be brave, okay?

Simon: Joey will be perfectly safe. He'll be under 24-hour protection. We have the full cooperation of the San Francisco P.D. on this. The chief's an old friend of ours.

Jim: We'll keep the feds out of it for now.

Elise: Okay. Let me walk you to the car, okay, sweetie?

Elise and Joey go outside.

Blair: See you later.

Simon's phone rings and he answers it.

Simon: Excuse me. Yeah... (walks away)

Sam comes down the stairs, carrying a case.

Blair: Ooh! Let me help you with that.

Sam: Thanks. The window is still closed.

Blair: Right.

Sam walks past him and leaves the house, closing the door behind her.

Blair: (chuckling as he turns to look at Jim) I guess we're just going to be friends, man. Whoo! (leaves the house)

Simon: Thanks. (hangs) They just got a call. A guy matching Abbott's description was buying first aid supplies from a drugstore on Fifth. Clerk said he was bleeding pretty badly.

Jim: I'm on it.

~Cut to outside a drugstore. Night. Jim and Blair talking to a pharmacist as they step outside.~

Woman: You know how fuzzy light can be. Just straight down there. (points down the street)

Jim: Thank you.

Woman goes back inside.

Jim: She ID'd the photo. It's definitely him.

Blair: Take a look around, man -- there's nothing. He probably left the area.

Jim: It's only been ten minutes. He must've gone someplace nearby to tend to his wounds. He's no fool. He wouldn't go to a public place.

Blair: Right.

Jim: He must've gone someplace... someplace private.

Jim looks around and sees a car parked down the block. A man can be seen in the backseat.

Jim: Chief.

~Cut to inside the car where Gordon is wrapping gauze on his arm. Jim opens the door, startling him.~

Jim: Gordon, it's okay. We're here to help you.

~Cut to interrogation room at the PD. Jim and Gordon talking.~

Gordon: I've got nothing to say to you.

Jim: We can't do anything for you unless you help me.

Gordon: Help you? You don't care about me. I'm just some dumb pawn that you guys move around on your private little chessboard.

Jim: Gordon, listen to me. I signed you over to Singleton because he promised me that you wouldn't face federal charges. Now, he screwed both of us! He told you that Prosky killed your wife and your son to get you to testify, am I right?

Gordon: Where's my wife?

Jim: We've got her under protection. We've also got Joey protected.

Gordon: Oh, you're protecting them, huh? Then I guess I got nothing to worry about, huh?

Jim: I understand how you must feel...

Gordon: No, Detective. You haven't the slightest idea how I feel!

Jim: Okay...all right. You're right. I don't know how you feel.

Gordon: No, you don't know how I feel.

Jim: I just asked you a question about Singleton and you didn't answer me.

Gordon: Yes. Okay, you're right. He lied to me. He lied to me about my wife and my child. Everybody thought they were dead. Look, all I want is my wife and my son back and then I'm out of here, okay?

Jim: I understand that, Gordon. But what about Prosky? You think he's just going to forget about you?

Gordon: He's not going to find us where we're going -- I'll guarantee you that.

Jim: He's going to find you like that... Especially if he has Singleton helping him. Oh, man, oh, man. I mean, my guess is that Singleton told Prosky that you're alive and in Cascade. And I'm sure that he told him you're going to go see Elise.

Gordon: No. Prosky and Singleton hate each other's guts.

Jim: That's very possible...but they both have a lot to gain with you dead. Now I need you to testify as to what Singleton did. If we sweat him hard enough, he'll roll over on Prosky and this whole thing will be over. You can go home to your wife and your child. There's no more hiding. I just need you to make it happen.

Gordon: I trusted you three years ago -- I trusted you, and I am not going to make that same mistake again -- you understand me? No.

~Cut to Elise's house. Day. Singleton knocks on the door -- he has two men with him. An officer answers.~

Singleton: Hi. Dan Singleton, Justice department. These men are federal agents. We're here to take Mrs. Abbott and her son into protective custody.

Officer: I'm sorry, sir. I can't do that without authorization. If you'll wait outside...

Singleton and the two men walk inside. Another officer is with Elise.

Singleton: Mrs. Abbott, we're here to take you to a safe place. If you'll just go get your son, please?

Elise: My son's not here.

Officer: Sir, with all due respect...

The other two men pull out guns and shoot the two police officers. Then they grab Elise and leave. Singleton hesitates a moment, then goes out with them.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act V ~~~~~~~~~~

~Major Crimes. Still day. Gordon is in Simon's office with Jim and Simon. Jim leaves and comes out to join Blair at his desk.~

Jim: At least he's finally agreed to police protection.

Blair: Well, that's good, isn't it?

Jim: That's really nowhere. We can keep him alive but if Abbott doesn't cooperate with the investigation, Prosky and Singleton are going to skate.

Blair: Come on, Jim. I mean, this isn't some mob hard guy. He's an accountant who fell in on a bad deal. He hasn't even seen his wife yet.

Jim: Yeah. Maybe I should call her. Maybe she can get him to make a statement. (picks up the phone)

~Cut to inside Simon's office. Gordon looks up as Singleton strolls into the bullpen. Jim puts down the phone. Gordon starts to stand up. Simon puts a hand on his shoulder to hold him down.~

Simon: No. You stay right here, Mr. Abbott. I'll handle this. (leaves office)

~Cut back to bullpen.~

Jim: What do you want?

Singleton: I want to see Mr. Abbott.

Jim: About what?

Singleton: That's none of your business. And let me remind you -- he was once a federal witness.

Jim: The operative word here is "once." You're out of luck.

Simon: Gordon Abbott is here voluntarily and is under the protection of Cascade P.D. Until I hear otherwise from a superior, he doesn't have to talk to anybody.

~Cut to Simon's office. Gordon watches as Singleton plays with a round object about the size of a coin. Gordon stands up.~

~Cut back to bullpen.~

Singleton: I just got a couple of questions of my own. You know, professional courtesy.

Gordon opens the door to Simon's office.

Gordon: Captain. I'll talk to him.

Singleton starts to walk to office. Simon stops him.

Simon: You have five minutes and then I want you off the premises.

Singleton goes to office and goes inside, shutting the door.

Simon: I got a meeting I got to go to. You keep an eye on him.

They look inside to see Singleton (his back to the bullpen) and Gordon sitting at the table.

Simon: I wouldn't be surprised if Abbott went for his throat.

Jim: I doubt we'll get that lucky, sir.

Simon chuckles and leaves. Jim tunes in to listen to conversation.

~Cut inside office.~

Gordon: Where did you get that? (referring to round object)

Singleton pauses a moment, then stands. He turns on the radio on the shelves.

~Cut back outside. Jim flinches back.~

Jim: The son of a bi... I can't he him now.

Blair: What are you talking about? Filter out the radio. You can do that.

Jim does so.

~Cut back inside.~

Gordon: I bought that key chain for Elise. Where is she?

Singleton: She's with Prosky. The wrecking yard. You got to be there at 3:00. Because by 3:01, she'll be dead. (drops key chain on table, then stands to turn off radio) Meet me outside. (leaves office)

~Cut back outside as Singleton walks by.~

Singleton: Thank you, gentlemen. (leaves bullpen)

Blair: Did you get it?

Jim: Not all of it.

Gordon comes out of Simon's office.

Blair: Jim.

Jim and Blair go over to Gordon.

Blair: Hey, hey.

Gordon: You have no right to keep me.

Blair: What about police protection?

Gordon: I'm waiving the police protection.

Jim: What exactly did he say to you?

Gordon: He didn't say anything to me. I just want to get out of here.

Jim: You're a material witness in this.

Gordon: I'm not staying here..

Simon comes in.

Simon: Jim! Let him go.

Jim: Yes, sir.

Simon: You're released, Mr. Abbott.

Gordon leaves.

Jim: Simon, can you tell me what the hell's going on? Singleton said something about Elise in there.

Simon: We have two officers down. Elise is gone.

Jim: Must have scared the hell out of him. That's why he bolted.

Blair: You think he's going to trade himself for his wife?

Simon: I would. Look, Jim, it's going to take Abbott a couple of minutes to sign out. You stay on him.

~Cut to Gordon pulling up in his car into an alleyway. He parks just in front of Singleton's car. Singleton gets out of his car and goes up to Gordon's.~

Singleton: You got 20 minutes to meet Prosky.

Gordon gets out of the car and holds a gun on Singleton.

Gordon: I want my wife back, Mr. Singleton.

Singleton: Don't be an idiot, Abbot -- you need me.

Jim and Blair pull up in the Expedition.

Gordon: I don't need anybody. I'm going to save my wife and that means killing you first. (cocks the gun)

Jim: (getting out of car) Gordon! Gordon, don't be stupid.

Jim and Blair approach Gordon.

Jim: You shoot him now and we're never going to end this clean. Now, come on. You try and handle Prosky by yourself, one way or the other, he's going to track you down and kill you.

Blair: Come on, just put the gun down, man. Trust us one last time.

~Cut to a bit later. Singleton is now handcuffed to a dumpster.~

Jim: This jewelry really suits you, Counselor. I'm going to send a unit to pick you up. In the meantime, just make yourself at home. It's a lovely neighborhood, Danny boy. (leaves)

~Cut to wrecking yard. Jim and Blair are crawling around on cars. Elsewhere, Gordon walks into Prosky's office.~

Prosky: Gordon. Come on in. Here. Take your old seat back. (shoves Gordon into a chair) Do you remember when we used to sit around the office and you tried to explain the books to me? But I have to be honest with you. Not much stuck, except for this -- the books have to balance. Debits, payments -- right? Well...when you testified against my old man, you became accounts receivable -- overdue with a penalty.

Gordon: Where's my wife, Nick?

Prosky, his two thugs, and Gordon go outside and all get into a car. They drive through wrecking yard. Jim and Blair see them coming.

Jim: Get Simon on the line. I want the status on backup ASAP.

Blair starts dialing.

Car stops and they all get out. Elise is in one of the to-be-wrecked cars. Elise and Gordon see each other.

Elise: Oh, my god.

Gordon: Okay, Nick, you've got me now. So, please, just let her go. Please.

Prosky: I guess you missed the point about the books, Gordon. She's the penalty payment. Anyway, you'll both be together in a cube at the bottom of the bay.

~Cut to Jim and Blair.~

Jim: We're hitting critical mass here, Chief. What's the story with backup?

Blair: (into phone) Simon, what's going on? (to Jim) Says they're about five minutes away.

Jim: That's not soon enough. Tell him I got to move in. (moves in)

~Cut back to Prosky.~

Prosky: Enjoy the ride, huh?

Gordon: Nick... Nick.

One of the men gets into the crane. Another pushes Gordon over the trunk of the car with Elise in it. He pulls out the gun and aims it at the back of Gordon's head. Jim fires the thug, taking him out. Lots of gunfire exchanged. Gordon gets Elise out of the car.

Gordon: Are you okay?

Elise: Come on.

Gordon: Wait. Wait.

Man in crane swings a car at Jim. Blair sees what's happening and starts heading toward the crane.

Gordon: Come on. Come on!

Gordon and Elise run, ducking bullets, heading for safety. Prosky sees them.

Prosky: Lou! Go after Gordon!

Lou chases after Gordon and Elise. Blair, meanwhile, is climbing up toward crane control seat. He has a really big wrench in one hand. Car on crane smashes at Jim again and he dodges. Blair reaches the control cab and whacks the bad guy with the wrench. He pulls the bad guy out and exchanges a quick look with Jim. Jim takes off.

Gordon and Elise run, then find themselves in a dead end. Lou finds them and aims his gun at them.

Gordon: Wait a second. Wait!

Jim comes up behind Lou and hits him once on the back of the head, knocking him out.

~Cut back to Blair. Prosky gets into his Mercedes and starts driving away. Blair gets into the control cab and starts messing with the controls. He manages to drop the car just in front of Prosky, blocking his way out. Blair grins. Prosky drives the other way. Blair messes around a bit, then manages to pick up Prosky's car with the crane, hauling him up into the air. Blair chuckles to himself. Simon arrives, along with other police cars. Jim runs out to meet them. Blair comes over to join them as well.~

Jim: I had my doubts, Chief.

Blair: Yeah, me, too.

Simon: Would someone mind explaining this?

Blair: You wee, I picked his car up with a crane, Simon.

Simon: You knew what you were doing?

Blair: (laughing) No, not at all, actually, but it's kind of like those games at the penny arcade, you know?

Jim: Only a slightly bigger prize.

~Cut to Major Crimes. Day. Jim and Gordon walking through bullpen.~

Gordon: I spent three years as a dead man and I blamed you for a lot of it. I was wrong about that. So, thanks for giving me back my life and my family.

Jim: You're welcome.

Gordon: All right, take care. (walks off)

Jim: You, too.

Gordon passes Blair (by the doors) as he exits.

Blair: Hey, we'll see you later.

Gordon: So long. (leaves)

Sam comes inside.

Sam: Blair. You got a minute?

Blair: Uh...yeah.

Sam: I thought, if you're still inclined, I would be very happy to accept your present.

Blair: Why the sudden change?

Sam: Well, I have window, too, and I figured 48 hours of groveling was enough.

Blair: Yeah.

They kiss.

Blair: Yeah. Wow. What do you say I grab it -- it's on my desk -- and meet you down at your office in a couple minutes? Be right there.

Sam leaves and Blair hurries over to Brown.

Blair: Brown! Hey, buddy, I need to buy that present back, okay?

Brown: No. The window closes on me in two hours and I will not be left standing in the rain for you, my brother.

Blair: You're killing me. (goes over to Jim and Simon) Hey, guys, I need to split just for a while. I'll talk to you guys later. See ya. Bye. (leaves in a rush)

Jim and Simon look at each other.

Simon: What's up with him?

Jim: Sandburg inhabits a rather strange and confusing world. Do you want to go there?

Simon: No.

Jim: Didn't think so.

~ The End ~